Whilst the last post suggested that you need to be patient and continue to prepare yourself for the future, now we are only weeks away from exams it is time to prepare for battle... thus the 'lock and load' metaphor, besides there was some useful repetition and alliteration here. It didn't hurt that there was a little bit of urgency and combat hero about the title as well.
So how to prepare? This is the purpose of this post. You have only a few weeks until you will be sitting that first exam on the 9th November, so it is time to make sure you know your content and syllabus dot points in preparation for the examinations.
You should also have a date timeline on your wall that will help to plan out every minute from here to the last day of examinations. Remember it is not all about cramming information into your head, it is about balance. Make sure you have each of your subjects on the wall, not just the most important subject... English! The HSC is a game and the winners are the ones that do well across the board, not just in a few subjects.
Each subject will require something different of you so make sure that you know what will be rewarded. In English it is about written responses and all of them are different so memorise the dot points for each of the responses. This way you will know what to put in your responses and you will instinctively do it on the day.
Make sure that you have summaries of each of your units and then summaries of summaries until you have a one page 'cheat sheet.' No... this is not going into the exam room but you will use it outside the exam room to cram your main study points into your short term memory before the exam. This should be important ideas/themes and quotations. The rest will be sitting there in your long term memory.
Remember answer the question that is in front of you... not the one you hoped for. Those that 'dump' pre-prepared essays tell the examiner '...everything they don't know about the text.' Yes, this is a paradox. It means that you don't know the text well enough to adapt your knowledge about the text to the question at hand. I always say to my students outside the exam room, before they go in... 'answer the bloody question.' Anything else is examination suicide. Next Blog will be about what you should do once you are seated at your desk...